We all know about Out-Out. Not just a quick pizza with friends and in bed by ten. A night out that you need to gird your loins for, buy a new dress, highlight it in the diary, maybe new make-up and knickers. All braced for a real grown-up hangover that lasts two days and the knowledge that you might get frisky and forgetful. You need both cash and a shame spiral allowance. For all the fun you are going to have. This now happens once a year.
And then there’s In-In. A night alone organised with the kind of military precision that only a Midult can unleash. Again diarised. This is no accidental, ‘Oh I can watch a bit of Harry Met Sally on Netflix while I do my tax return’ night in. This is no ‘So-and-so cancelled so I can catch up on laundry, how relaxing’ night in.
This is you. And only you. There is no unplanned external interference, not even *gasps* Deliveroo. The doorbell must not ring. It’s in the diary under code in pen. To cancel this would be to cancel your entire self. It cannot be undone.
It will involve getting out the secret cosy socks that you definitely don’t own and will deny knowledge of until you die. A specific combination of food. Maybe chilli from the freezer (this has been weeks in the planning). Or a hummus and tortilla chips fest (because who cares about garlic breath?) and several of those Gü things that you haven’t bought for years because of the ramekin overload.
You are hunkering down with yourself. You are in mini-retreat. You are saving your own life. You are In-In.
The laws of In-In
- The first rule of In-In is tell no one. You will feel a bit shifty. Bliss.
- The second rule of In-In is you are not going to share it. With anyone. Even someone in crisis – and, yes, this does make you a terrible person but your In-In cannot be compromised.
- Phone off. No emails. Total cut-off.
- It starts and ends with a bath.
- Your entire fridge must be a snaccident waiting to happen. Load it up, people.